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Cinemas Remain Closed in Metro Manila After Mayors Intervene

Despite approval from the DOH and IATF, Metro Manila mayors deferred the reopening of cinemas in their localities.

A few days ago, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that they are finally allowing more establishments to reopen in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). These include museums, public libraries, cinemas, and arcades, which will reopen in the hopes of boosting the economy, which was badly affected by the pandemic.

“Yes, para po sa GCQ areas po ito. Dahil sa MGCQ, talaga naman pong 50 percent capacity ‘yung mga ganyang negosyo,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (Read: ‘Vaccine Passports Will Be Issued to Inoculated Individuals’ – Roque)

He adds that operational guidelines will soon be released to prevent the public from crowding in these establishments. The guidelines will be subject to the approval of the Department of Health (DOH) and the local government units for the proper observation of health protocols.

No Cinemas for Now

Photo from Richard A. Reyes / Inquirer

Despite the approval of the DOH and the IATF, Metro Manila mayors have decided to defer the reopening of cinemas. According to Parañaque mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman Edwin Olivarez, concerns in ventilation in cinemas still need to be addressed. (Read: This is the REAL Reason Why You Must Clean Your Kitchen Sponge)

Alam naman natin sa cinema, enclosed yan, tatlong oras sa air conditioned [area]. Questionable po yung ventilation. ‘Yan po yung apprehension ng ating LGUs sa Metro Manila,” Olivarez said.

It can be recalled that proper ventilation is needed to avoid the spread of the virus, that’s why many establishments are reducing their air conditioning and opening more doors and windows to improve air circulation.

Alarming Number of Cases

Shoppers traverse the streets in the Divisoria market area in Manila on December 13, 2020. (Photo from Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News)

In the past week, thousands of new cases have been reported— one day was even reported to have had more than 2,000 new ones. Deaths are also rising in the country— not as much as the rise in cases, but still alarming.

That’s why the presidential spokesperson has announced that the reopening of cinemas will be deferred to March 1, upon consultation with the IATF and concerned agencies. Guidelines and protocols will also be consulted and created to ensure the safe reopening of these establishments. (Read: What is the difference between MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ?)

As of writing, there are more than 547,000 cases in the country, with at least 25,000 active cases. There have also been 11,507 deaths that have been logged.

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